Beads of perspiration glistened on Senator Finch’s forehead, cascading down her temples in a testament to the turmoil within. Her eyes, wide with fear, mirrored the trepidation coursing through her veins as they fixated upon a jar labeled as Granny’s peach tea resting on her table.
A fleeting glance at the vacant chair, followed by a searching gaze at Superman, revealed the desperation etched across her face. It was too late. She knew. It was too late. No one ekse understood. It felt as if time had slipped through her fingers like sand in an hourglass. Her worst fears materialized before her very eyes as the Capitol erupted. But – it was too late.
Superman stood there surrounded by chaos. By fire and blood. Time slowed down in front of him. But it was too late. A solitary tear cascaded down his cheek, an emblem of profound sorrow and irretrievable loss. Echoing through the deafening tumult, screams pierced the air, carrying the anguish of those caught in the throes of despair. Though mere seconds had elapsed, the weight of the world seemed to burden his very being, stretching the fabric of existence into an eternity filled with pain and regret.
“Why?” he whispered. As he looked straight ahead, he found himself inside the Kryptonian ship, where a projection of the red sun created a silhouette behind Jor-El.
“Why me?” He asked.
“Krypton is alone, doomed,” replied Jor-El. “But individually, you’re free to forge your own path. You can guide them, Kal, stop them from making the same mistakes Krypton made.”
“What mistakes?” Clark asks.
“Our hierarchical culture made us insecure about preservation. We thought artificial reproduction was the key to ensure our survival, but we forgot to keep our heart in the right place. We surrendered it in the name of evolution. The High Houses battled amongst each other to establish the most superior bloodline, leading us to chaos. And even after attempts at peace, it didn’t prevail. A world doesn’t survive unless it stands united. We wrote Krypton’s fate ourselves. But you, my son, you can stop this from happening.”
“But mankind hates me. How can I convince them I’m not their enemy? That I’m just like them?” asked Clark.
“That is your journey to follow,” said Jor-El. “But have faith, my son. You share your bloodline with the House of El. Natural leaders. You can lead mankind towards greatness.”
Clark looked at his father, but he was gone. Instead, a horrifying figure stood in his place. The figure gazed at Clark, his scar shining on his face.
“You could’ve saved them, Kal. You betrayed us, chose humans over your own family,” the figure accused him. Clark’s eyes widened at the sight of General Zod.
“Now look around you. No Krypton, no Earth. The blood and bones are in your hands,” Zod smirked, his expression morphing into a pale and skinny visage. Superman’s eyes widened as he looked down, only to be met with the shocking sight of a human skeleton in place of the codex. He dropped it, and suddenly there were skeletons all around him. He looked ahead but found no one. He was all alone.
“I didn’t see! I could have saved them! I could have… saved… them,” he cried out, his voice filled with anguish and regret. Overwhelmed by the weight of his perceived failure, he sank slowly into a heap of skulls. His vision narrowed until he could only see his hands.
He woke up with a start. Disoriented and dazed, he found himself atop a majestic mountain, the cold snow beneath him piercing through his senses. Despite the frigid surroundings, perspiration trickled down his forehead, mingling with the tears streaming down his face. A wave of despair washed over him, compelling him to release the anguish within, and his cries echoed through the lonely mountain peaks, carried away by the howling wind.
“I Could’ve saved them. I failed.”